Tag Archives: Thinkpad

Adding USB-C Charging to an old ThinkPad

Long after humans reduce this planet to an inhospitable wasteland, cockroaches and my Lenovo ThinkPad will continue to survive.

My only gripe with my almost decade old laptop, is the charger. It has a standalone charger, and I can’t charge it on USB-C.

Way back in when Lenovo took over from IBM, the barrel jack style charger that ThinkPads had used was replaced with a slimmer rectangular charger port, to allow for more slimmer laptops. You can get adapters to allow you to use your old chargers with the new(er) laptops, and luckily for us, this means we have a cheap and readily available source of male slimline charger plugs, without having to resort to cutting up a charger.

And for a few bucks online, you can buy USB-C Power Delivery converters that you plug USB-C into one end of, and get out 20v on the other side…

So I combined the two; USB-C to 20v adapter on one side, and a cut up barrel-charger to slimline charger adapter on the other using the male slimline charger plug.

And bingo, just like that I’ve got a USB-C charging capability for my Thinkpad.

After potting in silicone, I’ve got something that can go in my backpack and allow me to charge my laptop on the go with a USB-C charger, for under $5 of parts.